Urskumug - _Am Nodr_
(Ledo Takas, 2006)
by: Nikola Shahpazov (6.5 out of 10)
They don't call themselves "tribal black metallers" for nothing. Deeply involved in rediscovering the forgotten wisdom of Latvia's pagan past and interpreting it by means of blistering noise, Urskumug are first and foremost a concept band -- and so is their second full-length _Am Nodr_, the follow-up to _ Pareja_, released on CD-R some two years ago. Do not expect any Finntroll stuff here: although the music might tend to be folkloric in places, it is no jolly affair at all. The dominating mood is grim, not least because of the approach: fast and guitar-based black metal. The album is not badly recorded and utterly "trve" like lots of underground releases, but rather well produced, well played and still uncompromising in its sheer straightforwardness. Obviously melody is not scowled at, but I would certainly not go as far as to give you the wrong idea of Urskumug being an overtly melodic black metal act. Overall, the standard guitar buzz, combined with occasional solos and strong vocals, manages to create the right atmosphere, if not a lasting impression. Shamanism and archaic rites are at the centre of the lyrics, and tracks like "The Guardian" rightfully reflect that with slower tempo and ritualistic noises as to transport the eager listener at least a tiny bit closer to those times of old.

Contact: http://www.urskumug.lv

(article published 25/6/2006)

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